The Mufti of Ingushetia, Isa Khamkhoyev, and the republic’s Alims recorded a video appeal to the authorities asking them to pay attention to political prisoners in Ingushetia. The unfair verdict on the protesters could lead to popular unrest, theologians say.
“The residents prayed every day, appealed to all kinds of authorities. The people find it very hard to accept that innocent people may end up behind bars for many years. We appeal to officials of all ranks to help resolve this issue. Passing an unjust sentence is wrong from the point of view of religion. People are concerned about their fate. We are afraid that turmoil will break out”, – said the mufti of Ingushetia.
According to him, a fair sentence for the Ingush activists will help to consolidate society. “A lot is being done for the sake of bringing people together. I am sure that this is one of the important steps that will help unite the people, calm the unrest of the residents, and consolidate the society,” he added.
Alimov, in particular, is concerned about the fate of imprisoned elders and a woman. Imam of the mosque in the Altiyevsky district, Usman Malsagov, addressed the President of Russia and the head of Ingushetia. He asked the authorities to respect the law in sentencing.
“Please show humanity towards the old men and women. Especially these old men, you could say, received ten times more punishment. They have always respected the law in their places and demanded that others obey the law and not violate order […] I especially appeal to the President of our country. They have all along supported the course of your leadership and sought to uphold order and the law and set young people on the right path. I ask you to show humanity and deliver a fair sentence in relation to the prisoners”, – asked Usman Malsagov.
Alims of Ingushetia also asked the head of the republic to make every effort to free the prisoners. In their view, the Ingush activists were defending the state and the interests of the people, and preventing bloodshed.
“What kind of example is shown to the younger generation? […] The investigation has all the evidence. […] If they are unjustly convicted, you lose your credibility. […] Today the people are waiting for justice. We ask the authorities to demonstrate this justice,” they concluded.
We remind you that the verdict in the Ingush case is scheduled for December 15. The state prosecutors asked Malsag Uzhakhov, Akhmed Barakhoev and Musa Malsagov to each serve nine years in a penal colony, Ismail Nalgiev, Bagaudin Khautiev and Barakh Chemurziev – eight years, Zarifa Sautieva – seven years and six months in a penal colony. They are accused of creating an extremist community and organizing violence against law enforcement officers at a rally in Magas.
Mass protests have been taking place in Ingushetia since autumn 2018. The inhabitants of the republic opposed the agreement on the border with Chechnya. In March 2019, the rallies turned into clashes with security forces and detentions of activists. Most of those arrested received real sentences on charges of violence against public officials.